Campaign to defend name of Lismore

HMAS Lismore has a history worthy of being repeated.

But the only way that will happen is if the community gets behind a push to have a future patrol vessel named after our city.

The Defence white paper 2009, announced that 20 new offshore combatant vessels, equipped with modular mission systems that allow the vessel to be reconfigured quickly for different tasks, will progressively replace the separate patrol boat, hydrographic and mine hunter fleets.

This is the type of vessel that might be considered appropriate to perpetuate the name Lismore.

Senior Naval Historical Officer John Perryman said only one formal request had been received to name afuture vessel after the HMAS Lismore, and that was submitted by Lismore RSL Sub-branch honorary secretary Wilson McClelland in 2006.

Maybe it is time for a public push to see Lismore grace another Australian ship of war.

Mr Perryman said the original HMAS Lismore was a tidy, efficient vessel run by a happy crew in multiple campaigns that spanned the globe.

And never was there a life lost in battle.

Built as a corvette (Bathurst class), the HMAS Lismore saw action in the Indian Ocean 1941-44, Sicily 1943, Pacific 1945, Okinawa 1945.

Incredibly three crew members lost their lives only three weeks after commissioning in 1941, when HMAS Lismore anchored in Jervis Bay so the crew could take part in a cricket match.

The score was never recorded because on the journey back to the ship a motor launch carrying the crew foundered and three seamen drowned after becoming entangled in the boat’s canopy.

In spite of that tragedy Lismore went on to give sterling service throughout the war, serving in the Pacific, Indian and Atlantic oceans as well as in the Mediterranean and Red Sea. She was considered a lucky ship by those who served in her.

For those keen to promote the name Lismore on a future patrol vessel, send your submission to John Perryman, CSM Senior Naval Historical Officer, Sea Power Centre – Australia, PO Box 7942, Department of Defence, Canberra, ACT 2600 or e-mail duncan. perryman@defence.gov.au



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